Before Masterchef there was only one high-stakes cooking show.

Airing on SBS for the past decade, there’s no crying, no emotional breakdowns, no tear-jerking back stories on Iron Chef. It doesn’t matter that you’re a financial analyst now rediscovering your life’s purpose in the perfect quenelle. On this Japanese TV show, it’s about how absurdly high your hat is, how reflective your silky Power Ranger-like chef’s garb is, and of course: how you well you can stand the heat when your kitchen station catches on fire.

Presented by flamboyant host Takeshi Kaga (with an odd penchant for capsicum) and dubbed in English (not always quite in sync) for foreign viewers, the show’s set is a flood-lit arena, where guest chefs challenge resident Iron Chefs in a timed cooking battle around a theme ingredient. Think WWE meets My Kitchen Rules, complete with slow-motion action replays.

Over two nights this February, Iron Chef is coming to Melbourne for a special dinner event. There won’t be any battles as such, but French Iron Chef Hiroyuki Sakai, Italian Iron Chef Masahiko Kobe and Chinese Iron Chef Kentaro Chen will prepare a six-course dinner, with each chef cooking two dishes. There is a capacity of up to 300 people for each night, and Masterchef contestant Alice Zaslavsky will be the evening’s MC. Wine and sake will be matched by local sommelier Masahiko Iga.

If you’ve ever seen Iron Chef, you’ll know it’s all about the spectacle. Diners will be treated to a performance of shodo by Japanese calligrapher Junko Azukawa and live music by koto player Brandon Lee.

Iron Chef Melbourne dinner will be on February 14 and 15 at RACV City Club, 501 Bourke Street, Melbourne. Tickets are $380 per person.

ironchefmel.com.au